The new Infinity War trailer may have dropped last week, but I’m still working my way through the Black Panther inspired wave of Marvel Legends. Hell, I’ll be lucky if I get to the Infinity War figures by the time that movie hits theaters next month. Part of me is screaming, “Slow your roll, MCU. Stop stealing the spotlight of your own movies.” But then I tell myself to shut up, because I want more Marvel movies as quickly as possible. I’m an old man and I don’t have time them to worry about pacing themselves! But for now, let’s focus on Black Panther and have a look at Erik Killmonger!
Much has been said about how Killmonger is one of the best MCU villains since Loki, and I can’t argue with any of it. He was charismatic, sympathetic, and he was one of the many characters that seemed to get as much development and screen-time as our hero, T’Challa. All of this is pretty impressive, since when you boil it down, his costumed-persona was just an evil version of Black Panther and his name is… well, Killmonger! Even in the 70’s that name was a little cringe-worthy. Anyway, I didn’t have high hopes for this character in the film, but it shows what I know, because everything turned out so much better than could be expected. It also redeemed actor Michael B Jordan’s legacy in the Marvel films. Not that he was really at fault for that Fantastic Four movie.
When I looked at Black Panther last week, I complimented Hasbro for not cheaping out and reusing parts from the Civil War version. Indeed, I had no idea there were so many differences in the costume! Well, the same can be said for Killmonger. This is an entirely new sculpt, and considering it’s basically a one-and-done buck, I’m surprised they didn’t share some parts between Erik and T’Challa in this wave. It’s also easy to dismiss this as just another black-suited figure with some gold paint accents. I’ll confess that was my reaction when I first saw pictures. But with the figure in hand, I find the subtleties in the sculpt and coloring rather impressive. Of course, all of this can be said for the Black Panther figure as well.
Killmonger’s suit is simpler than T’Challa’s. You don’t get as much in the way of panel lines and texturing, but it does feature some beaded lines running throughout. It also has a very subtle panther spotting effect that can be tough to see under normal lighting. Where T’Challa’s suit had silver accents, Killmonger’s has gold, and there isn’t nearly as much of it, at least not from the neck down. There’s a little on the hands and feet, and at the hips. The necklace appears to be sculpted separately in gold plastic and attached to the figure.
The head, on the other hand is absolutely brimming with detail. I really like the sculpted iconography near the ears. The beaded lines feature some gold paint, as well as some general gold dry brushing around the forehead area. The eyes are painted gold, and you get a little silver paint on the gold necklace. No doubt, this is a pretty intimidating mask!
The articulation is identical to what we saw on Black Panther. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs in the wrists. They also feature the lateral hinges in the shoulders that we often see on the Spider-Man figures. The pegs in the wrists allow you to swap hands, between attack hands and accessory holding hands. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. The ankles feature both hinges and rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch under the chest, and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck.
While T’Challa came up empty in the accessories department, Killmonger comes with two weapons and an extra set of hands for holding them. The first is a what I believe is meant to be a Konda-type sword, with the rather distinctive flaring tip that’s designed for slashing. The segmented grip is black, the blade is painted silver, and there are four holes cut out in across the top edge.
The other weapon is a short spear in silver and gold with some brown painted ties in the middle. Both of these weapons are pretty cool and quite distinctive.
Marvel Studios did a great job with Killmonger in the film, and now Hasbro follows suit with a great figure. In fact, the only real complaint I have is that there is no unmasked head. Yes, the two weapons make up for it in terms of value, but I can’t help but think the real reason was so they could bundle the character in a two-pack with an unmasked head and make me buy it again. Although in fairness, that figure looks like it’s going to be radically different, rather than a straight repack. Do I need two Killmongers? Probably not, but between the unmasked head and the Everett Ross figure, I’m only kidding myself if I pretend like I won’t buy it when I see it, but I don’t think I’ll pay a premium for it.